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Fred Snyder (Ohio Sea Grant) 5/16/01

Chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm round of applause for Fred Snyder of the Ohio Sea Grant!!!

Chatman - Clap, clap, clap, clap!!!!

Driftr - Welcome Fred!!

Driftr - Clap, clap, clap!

Chatman - Let's start off with some background on the Ohio Sea Grant Fred....

Fred Snyder - I'm a 27-yr biologist with the OSU Sea Grant program, grew up in the bait & tackle business and have worked and fished Lake Erie the whole time

Chatman - What exactly is the Sea Grant? What does your office do?

Fred Snyder - My main areas are sport & charter fishing, nuisance species, water quality and tourism. but not typing

Driftr - What part of Ohio is that located in?

Chatman - LOL

Fred Snyder - Sea Grant works for the wise use of coastal resources, focusing on economic development.

Fred Snyder - I'm located in Port Clinton, at Camp Perry.

Chatman - Jeez, I go back so far with your office Fred, I have been getting the Twine Line for over 10 years!

Chatman - There are so many things we could talk about.

Fred Snyder - I'm ready for questions.

zimpelp - Fred can you give me an overview of your job?

Fred Snyder - I'm a fishery biologist working to improve the sport, charter, & tourism industries.

zimpelp - Where?

Fred Snyder - Hey Ralph, I'm also a past president of Outdoor Writers of Ohio!

Driftr - What do you see now as the latest threat to Lake Erie waters?

Chatman - Port Clinton at Camp Perry, zimpelp.

Fred Snyder - With the walleyes, smallies, gobies, artificial reefs, someone must have a question.

Chatman - Don't forget the omni present Zebra Mussels!

Fred Snyder - I'm not sure a new threat is looming. We have challenges to stop sedimentation and exotic invasions.

Jones - Have zebra mussels undercut primary production within lake Erie?

Driftr - OK, what is the newest exotic invasion?

Fred Snyder - The biggest thing we'll all deal with is a changing ecosystem that is rearranging the fish community and fish behavior.

Chatman - Do you think the Zebra Mussel levels will, or have hit a maximum population density Fred?

Fred Snyder - The newest to impact Lake. Erie is still the Goby. The Ruffe will arrive someday

Driftr - What is a Ruffe??

SUPERTROLLER - Does anything limit gobies once they hit your area?

Jones - Do you perceive competition for attachment space with other inverts as a problem with zebras or is there no evidence of this?

Fred Snyder - Zebra mussels are still increasing on soft sediments but here's the big news - the similar quagga mussel is replacing zebras almost entirely!

SUPERTROLLER - Bigger or smaller shell?

Chatman - What is the quagga Mussel? Is it a nuisance species too?

Jones - Where does the quagga hail from?

Fred Snyder - There isn't much evidence for space competition but water clearing and bottom enrichment by zebras is making other invertebrate numbers soar.

Chatman - Does this then mean the Zebra's will end up as having done good for 

Erie? Or is the ecosystem just taking the Zebra's in stride?

Fred Snyder - Quaggas are more rounded on their bottoms - Importantly- they tolerate lower temps, deeper water. They can invade more places!

SUPERTROLLER - Has there been a study done yet on growth rates in Erie? Are walleyes growing faster ,slower or the same ?? 

Dan(oh) - Do you know how the spawn was this year for walleyes?

Fred Snyder - The zebras have rearranged the ecosystem and may pass contaminants into the food chain. Everyone complains about walleye being tougher to catch, thank the zebra mussels for that.

SUPERTROLLER - Tougher due to clearer water ???

Chatman - Will the Quagga Mussel have a negative impact then?

Fred Snyder - Walleye growth slowed in the late 80's (too many fish) and now have stabilized. More bottom food has increased yellow perch growth.

Fred Snyder - Walleye now feed more at dawn & dusk, are skittish about boats, and hang deeper most of the time.

SUPERTROLLER - So they are acting normal now ! LOL!

Chatman - But basically the fishery is healthy and maybe even growing?

Fred Snyder - Missing some questions - too early to assess this year's spawn.

Driftr - Fred, do you feel the Ohio limit reduction will help?

Fred Snyder - The walleye are at lower numbers than in the 80's but stable. Smallmouth are increasing. Perch are recovering and healthy. White perch are thankfully down.

joe - Having any luck out there?

Chatman - We'll slow down a bit to give you a moment to catch up then.

Fred Snyder - I don't think the limit reduction will affect Ohio's impact. We'll have the same total harvest as with a 10 limit. But this gave a reason for Canada to accept a big cut.

Chatman - Do you think the Quagga Mussel will impact negatively on the fishery Fred?

Dan(oh) - How big of a cut Fred?

Fred Snyder - The Quaggas will continue the trend we saw with Zebras.

Chatman - Will they also colonize soft bottoms like the Zebra's?

Fred Snyder - I didn't bring the quota figures home with me, but it's a whopper cut for Canada that truly will reduce their annual take.

Fred Snyder - Yes, on quagga, the Eastern & central basins have nearly all quaggas now. Western Basin looks to me to be about half and half.

SUPERTROLLER - Do they filter as much water as the Zebras?

Fred Snyder - Yes, most effects are nearly identical except for temp & depth tolerances.


SUPERTROLLER - Are the shells as sharp?

Fred Snyder - I hope to do some "super trolling" this weekend myself


Fred Snyder - Yes, most people can't tell the two mussels apart until they've been shown the difference. Sort of like when white perch arrived and anglers called them white bass.

Fred Snyder - OK, super, I'm not above working rock piles late in the day. It pays off.

Chatman - How are the tracking studies of the Gob coming along? I remember reading Smallies were gobbling them up at a fair rate.

Chatman - Are they (Gobies) still considered as big a threat as when they were first found?

Fred Snyder - An OSU study has shown that we may have to be more considerate of spawning smallmouth because gobies get the eggs as soon as the male is pulled away.

SUPERTROLLER - Are they still expanding or are they everywhere?

Fred Snyder - Gobies are the most significant invader since zebra mussels.

Driftr - A season on smallies will eliminate that!

SUPERTROLLER - Which goby species is worse or better to have???

Chatman - Will predation by smallmouth's make a marked impact on Gobie numbers though?

Fred Snyder - They will continue to expand onto hard bottoms - that means the ever-growing zebra-quagga beds. Remember the bit about deeper water?

Fred Snyder - The round goby is the big one. The tube nose goby hasn't gotten much foothold so they're hard to compare.

SUPERTROLLER - Is one a better prey species to be used as a food for smallies?

Fred Snyder - I doubt predation will affect gobies very soon. Zebras have lots of predators - sheephead and many more and they still increase in numbers.

SUPERTROLLER - Can we influence the gobies through some preventive action?

Fred Snyder - The best hope is that gobies will exceed carrying capacity and collapse like white perch did.

SUPERTROLLER - Gobicide ???

Fred Snyder - I hate to say it but we're reduced to spectators on gobies and zebras. We need to prevent new invasions.

Chatman - Do Gobies also spread toxins into the food chain as the Zebras do?


Fred Snyder - Zebras accumulate toxins by filtering water. Gobies eat mostly zebras and gain the concentration. Then smallies and others eat the gobies.

Chatman - Unfortunately, I can see the Gobies and Mussels being as prevalent as Carp in the near future.

Chatman - And, as wide spread.

Ernie - Maybe this has been asked already but is there any hard evidence that the Fresh water Drum (Sheepshead) are eating the Zebra's?

Fred Snyder - I've noticed lots of little gobies in the perch I clean, but those haven't accumulated much yet. The perch are still very clean.

SUPERTROLLER - At least they eat Zebra Mussels!

SUPERTROLLER - That's why the perch are bigger -- cool!

Fred Snyder - Drum and Gobies are the two primary predators on Zebra Mussels.

SUPERTROLLER - And I thought Drum were useless.

Ernie - Thank You. I will continue to treat them nicely then.

Chatman - What keeps Zebra's and Goby in check in their natural/ original waters?

Fred Snyder - I always handle them gently for release. No more whapping on the side of the boat. Eat, guys, eat!

Ernie - Gobies, though, if they are accumulating toxins to be spread to our game fish should maybe be treated a bit different?

Fred Snyder - There's a wide range of abundance in Europe. Some areas are covered. Some just don't get as many. You notice many reservoirs have zebras but the numbers are low.


Fred Snyder - Ernie, yes the gobies are a big concern but there's nothing we can do for control that won't impact desirable fish species.

Chatman - Fred, for those interested, is there a web site for the Sea Grant? Is there info available on how to subscribe to the Twine Line newsletter?

Ernie - Turning them into Sea Gull Chow can't hurt though.

Chatman - But that'd mean more gulls.......lol....flyin rats I call 'em! 

get jiggy - Sky carp!

Fred Snyder - www.seagrant.ohio-state.edu 

Chatman - Love it Jiggy!!!!

Ernie - That is the beauty of it though Chatman The Gobies are toxic so maybe we take care of 2 problems at once?

Chatman - Hmmmmmmm.

Fred Snyder - Contact our main office through the Web site for info on our Lake Erie newsletter and other pubs

Chatman - I tell you, I have learned more about the exotics from the Twine Line than anywhere else!

Chatman - And Lake Erie in General.

Fred Snyder - Law enforcement is really cracking down on the illegal use of gobies for bait.

Driftr - It wouldn't surprise me to see a shark in Lake Erie someday! :)

Fred Snyder - I do believe gobies would harm inland lakes more than Zebra mussels have.

Ernie - All ready have Piranha's Drift'r.

Chatman - Good. We don't need them spread inland. At least Gobies can't be unwittingly transferred in live well and bilge water, by anglers.

Fred Snyder - I've seen flounders and mitten crabs. give the sharks time

Chatman - Not to switch gears to hard, what are the short and long term forecasts on Lake Erie's water level Fred?

Fred Snyder - Anglers are one of the biggest worries in spreading gobies. If people use them for bait on Erie, someone will want to try them at Alum Creek!

Driftr - What is a mitten crab?

Fred Snyder - Short term, 8 inches lower than last June. Long term, maybe some moderation later this decade but then down even further after 2010!

Chatman - Here is a piece of fancy thinking! When marina's are built, why aren't they mandated to be deeper than the low water datum table?

Fred Snyder - Mitten crabs are ocean crabs with furry claws. Occasionally brought in by ballast water.

Chatman - I know it is, initially, more expensive to dig deeper. But if the lake got that low once, it will get that low again. Or even lower. And repeated dredging and modification to marina structures is more expensive.

Ernie - They may originally be deeper Chatman but siltation through run off will slowly fill them in one way or another.

Fred Snyder - The marinas, that's the kind of question that would have helped 25 years ago. Some around Catawba already have dredged down to bedrock!

Chatman - Hind sight is 20 20 vision, really rings true here. I was just curious about this.

Chatman - What are considered to be the factors for the low water? Even lower in 2010? I know reefs that will be islands for sure!

Fred Snyder - Sedimentation is a super problem.. Please build support for the Lake Erie Buffer program! Paying farmers to install filter strips on streams. It will stop sediment and give more wildlife habitat.

Fred Snyder - Water levels in Lake Erie are entirely precipitation controlled. There are no human controls on Lake Michigan, Huron or Erie.

Ernie - Farmers are a big problem I agree but what about industry? They pave over huge areas and there is no chance for the rain to soak in so it all runs off through creeks and rivers etc., gathering mud along the way.

Fred Snyder - My e-mail is snyder.8@osu.edu contact me anytime

Chatman - Has Fred missed any questions so far? The hour is almost up. Now is the time to ask....

Fred Snyder - Yes, runoff has been accelerated. However, the filter strip program doesn't punish farmers! It gives them above rental rate payments on marginally productive land and preserves their soil.

Fred Snyder - My index finger is numb! Please note my e-mail address, I welcome questions

Ernie - OK. I see now what I missed before. The government pays the farmer to put in the filter strips not the other way around.

Chatman - But your point about urbanization of what were once fields that absorbed water was valid point Ernie. 

Fred Snyder - Yes, this is a winner for farmers and a winner wildlife and a winner for the lake. Good payments every year in long-term sign-ups.

Ernie - Sounds like a good plan!

Chatman - Are there individual Sea Grant offices on each of the Great lakes Fred?

Fred Snyder - I look at what's really doable. There's too much concrete out there, but we can't get rid of cities. We can preserve soil on land with reasonable efforts.

eyeguy/mn - Nowadays, there's more money in owning a farm and not farming.

Chatman - Re thinking surface drainage and handling of run off in Urban areas is also doable though.

Fred Snyder - Yes, in every Great Lakes state and the other coasts. Type "Great Lakes Sea Grant Network" into a search engine.

Chatman - Well folks the hour has slipped away. A warm round of applause for Fred Snyder of the Ohio Sea Grant!

get jiggy - Thanks Fred!

Ernie - Thanks Fred It was a great chat!

fullOFit - Clap, clap, clap!!

Fred Snyder - I really appreciate talking with you, and feel free to contact me. Good Fishing!

slickster - Thanks Fred! Goodnight all!

Chatman - Wahoo!! Clap, clap, clap!

Driftr - Clap, clap, clap!!!

SUPERTROLLER - I've gotta go, thanks for chat time Fred! It was interesting!

Melonbob - Thanks Fred, clap, clap, clap!

Driftr - Thanks Fred !!!

Chatman - There is so much going on, with the Ohio Sea Grant, to cram it all in one hour! You're welcome back again, anytime, Fred!

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